A basic feature of Bacon's style in the Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall is his allusion to wise men — persons who serve as authorities and even as models for the reader. Bacon's many citations in the fifty-eight essays range from such modern authors as Machiavelli and Rabelais to such ancient writers as Virgil and St. Paul. Yet one authority stands above all others: Solomon, the most frequently named of Bacon's several wise men. That Solomon was for the Renaissance the epitome of wisdom is of course well known. Bacon himself displayed a lasting interest in Solomon, from the early Meditationes Sacrae, through the Advancement of Learning and the De Augmentis, to the posthumously published New Atlantis. Perhaps, however, our very familiarity with Solomon as a figure of great learning has distracted us from recognizing the diverse and sometimes subtle ways that Bacon uses Solomon in the 1625 Essayes. In the dedication and in the twelve essays that refer to his life or words, Solomon serves not simply as an authority to enhance Bacon's argument but also as a means to develop ideas and to generate images.



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